5 Green Parenting Hacks
If you’re expecting a baby or are already a parent, you might often find yourself worrying about the world your kids are going to grow up in. Most parents feel the need to leave this world a better place for their kids. It might feel overwhelming to take on such a crucial task, however, if all parents follow a few simple rules, the impact of it on the environment will be more favourable.
5 Simple Tips for Eco-Friendly Parenting
Taking on the responsibility of eco-friendly parenting is a grand gesture towards the welfare of the planet and the future of your kids. Keep your children healthy and the environment safe to live in with the help of the following green parenting tips.
Diapers and Wipes
Disposable diapers are widely popular consumer goods, due to their ease of use. However, excessive use of disposable diapers pose a serious risk to people and the environment. They also account for most of the waste dumped in landfill sites.
It has been reported by The Environmental Protection Agency that annually, around 20 billion disposable diapers are discarded in landfill sites.
Cloth diapers are a better and cheaper alternative. They do have an environmental impact, however, unlike disposable diapers, they don’t take up as much space in landfills since you can wash and reuse them. Luckily, there are now many diaper laundering services to make the whole process easier for you.
Consider trying to minimise the use of wipes, which is another major contributor to landfill waste. Cut out square pieces of soft cotton fabric to make washable wipes instead.
Not ready for cloth? Try eco-friendly diapers.
Breastfeeding is considered to be Green Parenting 101. Breastfeeding is eco-friendly due to its zero environmental impact. It is cost-free and incredibly healthy for your baby as it provides all the necessary nutrients. Pumping milk on the other hand is not as environmentally friendly since it is stored in plastic bottles or bags which eventually contribute to landfill waste. Try freezing the breast milk in glass bottles so it can be reused and are not discarded as waste.
Usually when moms are unable or do not want to breastfeed, they have no choice but to give formula. You can reduce discarded waste by recycling the formula package or you can try reusing them for different purposes, for example to store kitchen items or even use them as plant pots.
When your child starts eating solid food, make sure to invest in a good food processor or a blender. Cook food at home and just give it a blend to make your own homemade baby food. You can even freeze it in ice trays and store them for your convenience.
There is no argument that having kids will greatly increase your laundry load, however, try your best to limit the washing as much as possible. If you wish to save energy then wait until the hamper is full of clothes to maximize efficiency, wash it under cold water and use cold-water detergent.
Resist the urge to do small loads of laundry and toss only the really dirty clothes in the hamper. If your child goes through several outfits a day, there is no need to throw all of it in the laundry, especially if it was worn for only an hour.
You can also reduce the drying time by cleaning the lint filter in the dryer before each round of washing. A better alternative would be to just hang the clothes on a line and let them dry off outside.
Studies have shown that in 2016, transportation accounted for nearly 28.5% of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. One gallon of gas produces approximately 20 pounds of carbon dioxide – a major contributor to global warming.
A good tip for green parenting is to maximise the use of the minivan and try to purchase the most fuel efficient model. You can also organize a carpool whenever possible; drive your kids and your friends to their swimming practices or other weekly commitments. Not only will you be helping to reduce the number of cars on the road and the amount of greenhouse gas emissions, you will also save yourself from making several trips by teaming up with other parents.
Furthermore, make sure to run your daily errands when you’re already out on the road, for example, you can buy groceries for dinner while picking your daughter up from her cello lessons.
However, the greenest methods of transportation for children are either walking or bicycling, both of which do not cause any harm to the environment.
Reuse And Recycle
Having a baby is exciting news for all parents, and most want to buy the best of everything for their little bundle of joy, from fancy cribs to off-road strollers. However, children outgrow such things very quickly.
You can save money and minimise your environmental impact by simply borrowing or buying second-hand items from the thrift store. Consider shopping at resale stores for cribs or any other furniture and ask your family or friends with older children if they have clothes or toys in good condition that you could make use of. Once your kids have outgrown their belongings, simply continue the cycle by donating them.
Click here for more motivation articles.